How to Take Markings Off Painted Interior Walls

take markings off painted interior walls

We’ve all been there. One of the kids grabs hold of a pen or marker and creates their own masterpiece on the wall. Rather than repainting your entire home interior, we’ve laid out the best ways to take care of every bit of “art” on your walls. Just remember to always dust the walls before you clean them.

General care

Use a soft cloth or sponge with mild soapy water or a general all-purpose cleaner. Apply gentle pressure. If the stain is more persistent, carefully use an abrasive cleaner and water solution or bleach water. Always rinse the spot with clean water.

Scuff marks

If there are no scratches on the wall, a scuff mark from a piece of furniture is easy to take care of, without having to repaint. If you have access to a Magic Eraser, use it by following the directions on the package. You’ll be amazed by the actual magic. If you don’t have one, you can use an all-purpose cleaner instead. Just scrub it with a damp soft cloth.

Pencil marks

Just like pencil markings on a paper, a clean eraser can come to the rescue! Any kind works but a white eraser is guaranteed to not leave any residue. (Erasers can also take care of any fingerprints!) If the pencil drawing is more of a mural than a subtle sketch, create a baking soda paste by mixing it with water. Use a damp sponge with the paste and your wall will be as good as new!

Crayon marks

If the artwork is more colorful, removing the marks may be a two-step process. First, remove any excess wax off the wall with a flat tool like a putty knife. Once the excess material is gone, there are a few options for taking care of the remaining stain. The first is to use toothpaste (yes, toothpaste). Leave it on the mark for five to ten minutes, then wipe it off with a damp, soft cloth. You can also use a baby wipe or a standard ammonia-based window cleaner like Windex. Remember to rinse any remaining chemicals with a damp cloth.

Ballpoint pen marks

Pen is fairly easy to get off your walls. You can apply the usual tricks and cleaners, or you can get creative with an ordinary household items. Just spritz a little bit of hairspray, any kind of hairspray, on the marks. Then blot the area, don’t wipe or rub, with a clean, soft rag. Presto! Pen begone.


If you find a masterpiece made out of your everyday magic marker on the kitchen wall, don’t fret. Like a ballpoint pen, marker is extremely easy to remove without leaving a stain. Rubbing alcohol and cotton balls are really all you need. Take a picture of the artwork to preserve the masterpiece, then wipe it off.

Permanent marker

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: Sharpies on the wall. But don’t stress the mess, permanent markers don’t have to become permanent designs on your painted interior walls. The same toothpaste trick can work on Sharpies as well. You can also apply the time-honored secret for taking permanent marker off a whiteboard. Simply go over the mark with a dry-erase pen, preferably in the same color as the Sharpie. Then rub off both markers with a dry, clean cloth. A baking soda paste or Magic Eraser can also work.

Whether your walls have been painted the same color for forever or have a fresh new coat, don’t fret over the little marks. If you do have a mess that seems too big to handle, consider a new interior wall paint job and get in touch with us!